Against the Logic of the Guillotine
"The guillotine has come to occupy our collective imagination. In a time when the rifts in our society are widening towards civil war, it represents uncompromising bloody revenge. It represents the idea that the violence of the state could be a good thing if only the right people were in charge."
"[...] that desire [for revenge] is distinct from my politics. I can want something without having to reverse-engineer a political justification for it. I can want something and choose not to pursue it, if I want something else even more—in this case, an anarchist revolution that is not based in revenge. I don’t judge other people for wanting revenge, especially if they have been through worse than I have. But I also don’t confuse that desire with a proposal for liberation."
"For radicals, fetishizing the guillotine is just like fetishizing the state: it means celebrating an instrument of murder that will always be used chiefly against us."
"Our adversary is not a kind of human being, but the form of social relations that imposes antagonism between people as the fundamental model for politics and economics. Abolishing the ruling class does not mean guillotining everyone who currently owns a yacht or penthouse; it means making it impossible for anyone to systematically wield coercive power over anyone else."
Anarchism: The Feminist Connection (1975)
"If we don't allow ourselves to be paralysed by fatalism and futility, it could force us to redefine revolution in a way that would focus on anarca-feminism as the framework in which to view the struggle for human liberation. It is women who now hold the key to new conceptions of revolution, women who realize that revolution can no longer mean the seizure of power or the domination of one group by another–under any circumstances, for any length of time. It is domination itself that must be abolished. The very survival of the planet depends on it. Men can no longer be allowed to wantonly manipulate the environment for their own self-interest, just as they can no longer be allowed to systematically destroy whole races of human beings. The presence of hierarchy and authoritarian mind-set threaten our human and planetary existence. Global liberation and libertarian politics have become necessary, not just utopian pipe dreams."
"Anarchist men have been little better than males everywhere in their subjection of women. Thus the absolute necessity of a feminist anarchist revolution. Otherwise the very principles on which anarchism is based become utter hypocrisy."
"Traditional male politics reduces humans to object status and then dominates and manipulates them for abstract 'goals'. Women, on the other hand, are trying to develop a consciousness of 'Other' in all areas. We see subject-to-subject relationships as not only desirable but necessary."
"In rebellion against the competitive power games, impersonal hierarchy, and mass organization tactics of male politics, women broke off into small, leaderless, consciousness-raising groups, which dealt with personal issues in our daily lives. Face-to-face, we attempted to get at the root cause of our oppression by sharing our hitherto unvalued perceptions and experiences. We learned from each other that politics is not "out there" but in our minds and bodies and between individuals. Personal relationships could and did oppress us as a political class. Our misery and self-hatred were a direct result of male domination–in home, street, job, and political organization."
"By looking at Spain and France, we can see that true revolution is 'neither an accidental happening nor a coup d'etat artificially engineered from above.' It takes years of preparation: sharing of ideas and information, changes in consciousness and behavior, and the creation of political and economic alternatives to capitalist, hierarchical structures. It takes spontaneous direct action on the part of autonomous individuals through collective political confrontation. It is important to 'free your mind' and your personal life, but it is not sufficient. Liberation is not an insular experience; it occurs in conjunction with other human beings. There are no individual 'liberated women'. So, what I'm talking about is a long-term process, a series of actions in which we unlearn passivity and learn to take control over our own lives."
"Potentially, anarchist affinity groups are the base on which we can build a new libertarian, non-hierarchical society. The way we live and work changes the way we think and perceive (and vice versa), and when changes in consciousness become changes in action and behavior, the revolution has begun."
"I used to think that if the revolution didn't happen tomorrow, we would all be doomed to a catastrophic (or at least, catatonic) fate. I don't believe anymore that kind of before-and-after revolution, and I think we set ourselves up for failure and despair by thinking of it in those terms. I do believe that what we all need, what we absolutely require, in order to continue struggling (in spite of oppression of our daily lives) is HOPE, that is, a vision of the future so beautiful and so powerful that it pulls us steadily forward in a bottom-up creation of an inner and outer world both habitable and self-fulfilling for all."
Quoting Marge Piercy: "Despair is the worst betrayal, the coldest seduction: to believe at last that the enemy will prevail."
"We must not let our pain and anger fade into hopelessness or short-sighted semi-'solutions'. Nothing we can do is enough, but on the other hand, those 'small changes' we make in our minds, in our lives, in one another's lives, are not totally futile and ineffectual. It takes a long time to make a revolution: it is something that one both prepares for and lives now. The transformation of the future will not be instantaneous, but it can be total... a continuum of thought and action, individuality and collectivity, spontaneity and organization, stretching from what is to what can be. Anarchism provides a framework for this transformation. It is a vision, a dream, a possibility which becomes 'real' as we live it. Feminism is the connection that links anarchism to the future."
"Capitalism is a society that produces “goods” through the production of illness, destruction and death. The scale of the disaster is so great that we “have reached the threshold”, in Amorós words, or perhaps, even passed some kind of point of no return, such that all anti-capitalist politics must be thought through in the shadow of catastrophe."
I think that this new politics centred on disaster, catastrophe, collapse, crisis, etc. is something we need to clarify in our theory. What do we mean by these terms?
In terms of climate change and industrial ecocide, it is clear that we are currently undergoing an ecological 'collapse'. This kind of collapse is a matter of scientific study. Politically however, ecological collapse presents the capitalist economy with problems that it cannot solve, such as the demand for perpetual growth confronting ever-more limited resources. In general, all viable solutions to global warming and ecological collapse involve a fundamental restructuring of human societies, including the end of a profit-driven, growth dependent, industrial economy; that is, the end of capitalism. The continuation of capitalism, even with 'green' technology and environmental reforms, can only lead us, ever-quicker, into undermining the ecological/material conditions for the survival of the human race. In this case, ever-increasing mass displacement, regular extreme weather events, droughts, famines, resource wars, de-mystified inequality, etc. will all more or less undermine the political, social, and economic institutions, structures, processes and norms that constitute society as we know it (i.e. so called 'civilization').
Some radicals respond to this by emphasising the necessity of social revolution to destroy capitalism before it destroys us. Some radicals take for granted that a global social revolution is simply not going to happen before the status-quo totally breaks down, and respond to this by theorising revolution in the context of impending 'catastrophes'. Some radicals believe that whatever course we take it is too late to stop the chain reaction of ecological collapse, and respond to this by envisioning the realisation of anarchy in a post-collapse dystopia.
There is ambiguity regarding whether this crisis is currently ongoing or a future event. The common view among radicals seems to be that this ecological collapse is currently occurring but that it will reach a threshold at which existing capitalist society will break down. What is the point of collapse, what will it look like? Can we really expect a distinct 'event' in which capitalism breaks down, or will it simply be an ever-faster descent from capitalism into chaos?
How should our long-term strategies respond to the short/medium-term potential for 'catastrophe'? Surely it cannot be simply another 'issue', another aspect of the usual 'activism'. Nor can we simply dismiss such an urgent problem with the thought that it will be addressed when 'the revolution' arrives to grace us. The global social revolution has not happened in the centuries since it was first demanded and predicted by socialists of every variety, why should we expect to see such a revolution emerge any time soon?
Then there is the crisis internal to capitalism. The falling rate of profit, the bankruptcy of neoliberalism, with no viable solution emerging (the Keynsian solution still peddled by the left not economically possible), the extension of markets to their limit, with nowhere left for the commodity economy to colonise, the depletion of natural resources, recurring financial crises, ongoing recessions, etc. This sort of crisis opens up potential for revolutionary politics, but also for populists and reactionaries.
There is also a kind of existential crisis, that has been growing since the First World War, but which seems to be coming to the limits of human endurance at present. I am talking about the crisis of values that emerged from the rejection of God, and the absolute power invested by God in the State, the Church, and their social order, especially moral dogma. The search for freedom, meaning, and absolute values to replace the old, has clashed with the capitalist project that has seen the ever-increasing atomisation and alienation of people as individual subjects. The human need for meaning and inter-subjectivity has clashed with the reification of human relations, which sees individuals as objects, commodities, in a system of exchange. Authentic human communities are displaced by the community of capital, reality displaced by representation, direct relations displaced by commodity-mediated and state-mediated relations. I could go on. We face a mental health crisis of unprecedented proportions, alongside the irresolvable fragmentation and polarisation of societies, which is increasingly destabilising and undermining basic human sociability, as well as making life increasingly intolerable. This 'existential' crisis, furthermore, leaves us impotent to acknowledge and react to the other crises we face. (Is it any surprise that a society of depressives, workaholics, the criminally rich, and the abjectly poor, is unable to address a global crisis demanding the total transformation of life as we know it?)
I think clarifying what we mean by crisis, clearly distinguishing different kinds of crisis, and clearly laying out how we respond to exisiting and potential crises, is an urgent task.
Lastly, we must be aware of the way in which exisiting powers, particularly the State, use the notion of 'crisis' and 'emergency' to increase their power, further developing mass-surveillance based police states, and pushing through radical reforms to defend their class interests.
Excerpt from "The Society of the Spectacle", Guy Debord
The First International’s initial successes enabled it to free itself from the confused influences of the dominant ideology that had survived within it. But the defeat and repression that it soon encountered brought to the surface a conflict between two different conceptions of proletarian revolution, each of which contained an authoritarian aspect that amounted to abandoning the conscious self-emancipation of the working class. The feud between the Marxists and the Bakuninists, which eventually became irreconcilable, actually centered on two different issues — the question of power in a future revolutionary society and the question of the organization of the current movement — and each of the adversaries reversed their position when they went from one aspect to the other. Bakunin denounced the illusion that classes could be abolished by means of an authoritarian implementation of state power, warning that this would lead to the formation of a new bureaucratic ruling class and to the dictatorship of the most knowledgeable (or of those reputed to be such). Marx, who believed that the concomitant maturation of economic contradictions and of the workers’ education in democracy would reduce the role of a proletarian state to a brief phase needed to legitimize the new social relations brought into being by objective factors, denounced Bakunin and his supporters as an authoritarian conspiratorial elite who were deliberately placing themselves above the International with the harebrained scheme of imposing on society an irresponsible dictatorship of the most revolutionary (or of those who would designate themselves as such). Bakunin did in fact recruit followers on such a basis: “In the midst of the popular tempest we must be the invisible pilots guiding the revolution, not through any kind of overt power but through the collective dictatorship of our Alliance — a dictatorship without any badges or titles or official status, yet all the more powerful because it will have none of the appearances of power.” Thus two ideologies of working-class revolution opposed each other, each containing a partially true critique, but each losing the unity of historical thought and setting itself up as an ideological authority. Powerful organizations such as German Social Democracy and the Iberian Anarchist Federation faithfully served one or the other of these ideologies; and everywhere the result was very different from what had been sought.
The fact that anarchists have seen the goal of proletarian revolution as immediately present represents both the strength and the weakness of collectivist anarchist struggles (the only forms of anarchism that can be taken seriously — the pretensions of the individualist forms of anarchism have always been ludicrous). From the historical thought of modern class struggles collectivist anarchism retains only the conclusion, and its constant harping on this conclusion is accompanied by a deliberate indifference to any consideration of methods. Its critique of political struggle has thus remained abstract, while its commitment to economic struggle has been channeled toward the mirage of a definitive solution that will supposedly be achieved by a single blow on this terrain, on the day of the general strike or the insurrection. The anarchists have saddled themselves with fulfilling an ideal. Anarchism remains a merely ideological negation of the state and of class society — the very social conditions which in their turn foster separate ideologies. It is the ideology of pure freedom, an ideology that puts everything on the same level and loses any conception of the “historical evil” (the negation at work within history). This fusion of all partial demands into a single all-encompassing demand has given anarchism the merit of representing the rejection of existing conditions in the name of the whole of life rather than from the standpoint of some particular critical specialization; but the fact that this fusion has been envisaged only in the absolute, in accordance with individual whim and in advance of any practical actualization, has doomed anarchism to an all too obvious incoherence. Anarchism responds to each particular struggle by repeating and reapplying the same simple and all-embracing lesson, because this lesson has from the beginning been considered the be-all and end-all of the movement. This is reflected in Bakunin’s 1873 letter of resignation from the Jura Federation: “During the past nine years the International has developed more than enough ideas to save the world, if ideas alone could save it, and I challenge anyone to come up with a new one. It’s no longer the time for ideas, it’s time for actions.” This perspective undoubtedly retains proletarian historical thought’s recognition that ideas must be put into practice, but it abandons the historical terrain by assuming that the appropriate forms for this transition to practice have already been discovered and will never change.
The anarchists, who explicitly distinguish themselves from the rest of the workers movement by their ideological conviction, reproduce this separation of competencies within their own ranks by providing a terrain that facilitates the informal domination of each particular anarchist organization by propagandists and defenders of their ideology, specialists whose mediocre intellectual activity is largely limited to the constant regurgitation of a few eternal truths. The anarchists’ ideological reverence for unanimous decisionmaking has ended up paving the way for uncontrolled manipulation of their own organizations by specialists in freedom; and revolutionary anarchism expects the same type of unanimity, obtained by the same means, from the masses once they have been liberated. Furthermore, the anarchists’ refusal to take into account the great differences between the conditions of a minority banded together in present-day struggles and of a postrevolutionary society of free individuals has repeatedly led to the isolation of anarchists when the moment for collective decisionmaking actually arrives, as is shown by the countless anarchist insurrections in Spain that were contained and crushed at a local level.
The illusion more or less explicitly maintained by genuine anarchism is its constant belief that a revolution is just around the corner, and that the instantaneous accomplishment of this revolution will demonstrate the truth of anarchist ideology and of the form of practical organization that has developed in accordance with that ideology. In 1936 anarchism did indeed initiate a social revolution, a revolution that was the most advanced expression of proletarian power ever realized. But even in that case it should be noted that the general uprising began as a merely defensive reaction to the army’s attempted coup. Furthermore, inasmuch as the revolution was not carried to completion during its opening days (because Franco controlled half the country and was being strongly supported from abroad, because the rest of the international proletarian movement had already been defeated, and because the anti-Franco camp included various bourgeois forces and statist working-class parties), the organized anarchist movement proved incapable of extending the revolution’s partial victories, or even of defending them. Its recognized leaders became government ministers, hostages to a bourgeois state that was destroying the revolution even as it proceeded to lose the civil war.
"As We See It", Solidarity
"Meaningful action, for revolutionaries, is whatever increases the confidence, the autonomy, the initiative, the participation, the solidarity, the equalitarian tendencies and the self-activity of the masses and whatever assists in their demystification. Sterile and harmful action is whatever reinforces the passivity of the masses, their apathy, their cynicism, their differentiation through hierarchy, their alienation, their reliance on others to do things for them and the degree to which they can therefore be manipulated by others - even by those allegedly acting on their behalf."
I can't stand youtube politics myself, but I understand lots of people are exposed to new ideas through this platform, so these lists may be of use:
And for film & TV:
Paul Cockshott, while not an anarchist, is an incredible contemporary mind. His YouTube channel is by the same name, and he’s a PhD with published books. Can not recommend him enough.
News of Rebellion - Around the World
Marseille dockers refuse to load arms headed to Saudi Arabia:
Call for solidarity with the rebellious people of Sudan:
Anarchist escapes from Tyrintha prison, Greece:
Hong Kong: Anarchists in the Resistance to the Extradition Bill:
Queer rebellion worldwide:
Final Declaration of the foundation of l’Union Communiste Libertaire:
Hundreds of thousands of women on strike in Switzerland:
Thessaloniki, Greece. Three anarchists arrested during expropriation.
Haiti in Revolt: An Overview and Analysis of Six Months of Revolt:
Taking Direct Action to Stop Climate Change - Ende Gelände & Hambach Forest in Germany:
Police-dog training school set on fire:
Queer resistance to far-right, violent bigots, Hamilton USA:
... and so much more.
OPERATION: HOPE / RINSE / REPEAT - Announcement of Mass Organized Protest to send weekly packages of soap, tampons, and other hygiene products to Government offices and border camps en masse. Starting tomorrow, JUNE 27 2019!
To all true patriots concerned, appalled, and furious with the last two years of increasing abuses towards immigrants and their children at our border, the time has come for another united effort. Starting tomorrow, and until these migrant children are saved from the abuses rendered onto them, we must show our resolute disapproval of these crimes as the people of the United States of America.
Last week, the Trump administration showed the world their malicious hand in full.
After a lawyer visited the detention centers and described the "inhumane conditions" that migrant children were being kept in, the DoJ saw it fitting to make their arguments for the unsanitary conditions in court. Bold-faced and without empathy, DoJ attorney Sarah Fabian argued in front of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that detention facilities were not required to provide the thousands of migrant children with essential sanitary items, like soap and toothbrushes.
In the wake of this shocking claim, volunteer lawyers and civilians near the border have attempted to deliver and donate supplies to the camps, but are being turned away with CBP claiming they do not accept donations. With this new development, and in light of all other abuses, it has become readily and disgracefully apparent that the Trump Administration, ICE, and the CBP have made it their mission to keep these migrant kids in filth, disease, and despair.
After all, the cruelty is the point.
Furthermore, we as a country are spread miles upon miles apart, away from these concentration camps. The administration is relying on this to deter the will of thepeople, to make us apathetic. To make us think that there is nothing we can do to stop this from happening.
Horsesh!t, we say! We must reject these horrid claims! We must not be the good people who do nothing as these people suffer! With the death and blood of six migrant children (that we know of) and even more adult immigrants on the hands of our devolving country, we as the diverse peoples of the United States must take a stand. We must send a message to those in power.
We will not allow this! If this administration refuses to care for these children, if it refuses to provide basic necessities such as common soap, then we will. WE MUST*.*
If we cannot be there en masse to protest and fight, then we will instead provide. We will provide soap. We will provide kleenex. We will provide toilet paper, tampons, diapers, disinfectant, wet wipes, sunscreen, shampoo, dust rags, whatever we can fit in boxes and send. We will become their supply line. We will deliver them health. We will deliver them hope. We will show them that America is not defined by the atrocities of a mad king's court, but by the love within the heart of the common folk.
ICE and CBP have shown us their goal. They mean to fight off all aid to these children. They have decided to turn away and destroy donations. So how do we counter this?
Simple: We clog their entire feckin’ mail system and office buildings with non-stop packages of soap and shame, and we keep sending the wealth until they are forced to clean up their camps and care for these young migrant souls!
OPERATION: HOPE / RINSE / REPEAT
The steps of this protest operation are simple...
Build your package of soap and hygiene necessities. This is you supply drop of "HOPE". Include as much as you are able, bars of soap, feminine products, disinfectants, you name it. If it fits in the box you bought, you pack it.
YOU WILL NOT PACK DANGEROUS ITEMS. Just soap and hygiene products. We are trying to reach these kids, not cause violence in their name.
2. Write a message to put in the package. Anything you want. A large letter detailing your disgust, maybe words of encouragement for the kids, or just tell ICE that Captain America would beat the everfocking snot out of them if he saw what was happening ("language!")!
3. Choose the initial sending address of the camp / department / senator / representative you want to send to; rather that you wish to "RINSE" your package off onto. Below these steps you will find an extensive list of mailing addresses for all major departments and border camps involved in this madness. You will also find links to government directories so you may find any minor camps or departments near you. I will also provide volunteer organization addresses if you feel they could use the supply drop more.
4. Choose ANOTHER government address as your Return Address. We want these packages to be as annoying as possible. They will probably wise up eventually, but until then the packages will bounce back and forth and clog the system. Cause chaos in their clerk buildings with mountains of packages, some of which they will certainly bounce back to each other, until they are forced to address it.
5. Choose a return name. You can use your own name if you'd like to make your statement known, but I recommend a soap related pseudonym. Like Lucy Lysol, or Bud McSuds. If they want to be authoritarian, then we want this tidal wave of packages to be as untraceable as possible. Or choose a superhero name if you hope a child will read it. Whatever mood you're feeling on your sending day.
6. Finally, choose a day of the week to be your "supply day". Any day: Sunday thru Saturday.Every week when your day rolls around (or any consistent pattern that works for you), you will "REPEAT" the process of building a package and sending it to addresses of your choice. With all those steps done, you send it. You send it with chutzpah. You send it knowing you are one more into the breach, one more trying to reach those kids and demolish the barrier Trump has tried to put up. Then you wait for your next Supply Day to roll around and you do it again. And you keep doing it until it becomes too much for even ICE or some crusty racist senator to stop the flow of love and care from reaching the children who deserve it most.
Then you can walk with pride in your heart, knowing that you as an individual, added your weight to the pile and broke the back of this concentration camp operation. Be the hero these children need, my compatriots. Fight the battle they cannot, no matter where you are in the country; the same country they so desire to live within. It is your duty as an American.
It is the mission given to us by Lady Liberty herself: To take the tired, the poor, the huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of teeming shores. To receive the homeless and tempest-tost, for today, we take up the lamp, and though we may not be able to guide them inside quite yet, we will shine its light from the golden door!
Below you will find addresses and links for mailing purposes.
PUBLIC MAILING ADDRESS LIST
Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001
Customs & Border Protection Headquarters
1300 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20229
Department of Health and Human Services
330 C St, SW
Washington, DC 20416
500 12th St, SW Stop 5600
Washington, DC 20536
Office of Public Affairs
Department of Homeland Security
2707 Martin Luther King Jr Ave SE
Washington, DC 20528
--Main Border Camps & Offices--
El Paso Field Office
401 S. Vaquero Ave
PO Box 430
Sierra Blanca, TX 79851
El Paso Processing Center
8915 Montana Ave
El Paso, TX 79925
Miami Field Office
18201 SW 12th St
Miami, FL 33194
US Immigration Customs and Enforcement
2301 S. Main St.
McAllen, TX 78503
13400 Alameda Ave
Clint, TX 79836
Rio Grande Detention Center
1001 San Rio Blvd
Laredo, TX 78046
Fort Sill (ex Japanese internment camp)
4700 Mow-Way Rd
Fort Sill, OK 73503-0000
Berks Family Residential Center
1040 Berks Rd
Leesport, PA 19533
2805 SW 145 Ave
Miramar, FL 33027
Willacy County Correction Center
1601 Buffalo Dr
Raymondville, TX 78580
--Other Government Public Directories--
-- Recommended Volunteer Organizations (if you wish to send supplies to them instead) --
Otay Mesa Border Resistance
The Sanctuary Caravan
The San Diego Rapid Response Network
If you wish to add any public addresses, provide them in the comments below.
Be the hero these children deserve. Know that your efforts matter not only to the country, but to them.
They haven't given up. So why should you?
Whether it’s the Fourth of July, New Year’s Eve, or any other raucous celebration, for animals, fireworks are terrifying—and could be fatal. Many dogs and cats flee in fear from their deafening blasts. Animals become confused and panicked, and shelters see a spike in the number of admissions after fireworks displays.
Simply keeping animals indoors may not be enough.
Frightened animals may flee their homes trying to escape the startling and confusing blasts. It’s not uncommon for dogs to break through windows and screen doors or dig under fences in a panic. Prepare your home and animal companions before the event:
• Distract your cats and dogs by giving them lots of love and attention.
• Play some soothing background music or turn on the TV.
• Close the curtains or blinds.
• Make sure that all your animals are wearing collars with current identification tags and that they’re microchipped.
The most important thing for scared animals is to have their guardians close by.
This is Skylus, this is my alt account (check my sig on my alt account for proof) Hi Miek.
Yes this nation died and I just refounded it, hooray.
Hi other me.
The original Federation of Anarchist Communes was founded 4 years and 64 days ago today. At its best, the FAC was a joyful and fiery coming together of diverse ideas and characters, untainted by dull officialdom or diplomatic controversy. At its worst the FAC could become just another dry and stale political outfit. But its been an enjoyable and enlightening journey.
Much of the community has passed on, and these days the FAC is gathering dust, a curiosity of times past. Everything has a lifetime, and now we are at an end.
The Federation of Anarchist Communes is now closed. I will be putting a password lock on the region, but I won't be ejecting anyone for the time being.
Otherwise, I invite everyone to join me on a new adventure over in the Libertarian Socialist Confederation, freshly created and open to all.
Forever in solidarity,